IgE allergy diagnostics and other relevant tests in allergy, a World Allergy Organization position paper

Ignacio J. Ansotegui, Giovanni Melioli, Giorgio Walter Canonica, Luis Caraballo, Elisa Villa, Motohiro Ebisawa, Giovanni Passalacqua, Eleonora Savi, Didier Ebo, R. Maximiliano Gómez, Olga Luengo Sánchez, John J. Oppenheimer, Erika Jensen-Jarolim, David A. Fischer, Tari Haahtela, Martti Antila, Jean J. Bousquet, Victoria Cardona, Wen Chin Chiang, Pascal M. DemolyLawrence M. DuBuske, Marta Ferrer Puga, Roy Gerth van Wijk, Sandra Nora González Díaz, Alexei Gonzalez-Estrada, Edgardo Jares, Ayse Füsun Kalpaklioğlu, Luciana Kase Tanno, Marek L. Kowalski, Dennis K. Ledford, Olga Patricia Monge Ortega, Mário Morais Almeida, Oliver Pfaar, Lars K. Poulsen, Ruby Pawankar, Harald E. Renz, Antonino G. Romano, Nelson A. Rosário Filho, Lanny Rosenwasser, Mario A. Sánchez Borges, Enrico Scala, Gian Enrico Senna, Juan Carlos Sisul, Mimi L.K. Tang, Bernard Yu Hor Thong, Rudolf Valenta, Robert A. Wood, Torsten Zuberbier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Currently, testing for immunoglobulin E (IgE) sensitization is the cornerstone of diagnostic evaluation in suspected allergic conditions. This review provides a thorough and updated critical appraisal of the most frequently used diagnostic tests, both in vivo and in vitro. It discusses skin tests, challenges, and serological and cellular in vitro tests, and provides an overview of indications, advantages and disadvantages of each in conditions such as respiratory, food, venom, drug, and occupational allergy. Skin prick testing remains the first line approach in most instances; the added value of serum specific IgE to whole allergen extracts or components, as well as the role of basophil activation tests, is evaluated. Unproven, non-validated, diagnostic tests are also discussed. Throughout the review, the reader must bear in mind the relevance of differentiating between sensitization and allergy; the latter entails not only allergic sensitization, but also clinically relevant symptoms triggered by the culprit allergen.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100080
JournalWorld Allergy Organization Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2020


  • Allergy
  • Diagnostic strategies
  • IgE
  • In vitro tests
  • Skin tests

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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